Laura Haley (Comet crush’her) holds off the opposing blocker while Janelle Fortin (Ms Fortunate) scores. Photo by Greg McKinnon

Laura Haley (Comet crush’her) holds off the opposing blocker while Janelle Fortin (Ms Fortunate) scores. Photo by Greg McKinnon

North Coast Nightmares smash third in Chilliwack tourney

The Terrace roller derby team faced eight teams, won six games in the Lower Mainland tournament

The North Coast Nightmares roller derby team smashed their way to third place in the recent Daze of Derby bout in Chilliwack Oct. 21.

The Terrace team won six out of eight matches, racing against eight teams from Vancouver, Chilliwack, Cloverdale, Bellingham and Castlegaar.

In their first game, the Nightmares defeated Red Tide Warning from the Sunshine Coast 99-28, and went on to beat Bellingham’s Blunt Force Trauma 94-30.

Next up, the Nightmares lost 49-69 to Smoking Laces from Cloverdale, but chalked up two more wins after that — 78-42 against the Chilliwack Outsiders, and 84-27 against the Castlegaar Dam City Rollers.

In the last two games of the round robin, the ladies lost 31-60 to the Chilliwack Wolfpack and then beat Vancouver’s Team Dragon 70-25.

That put the Nightmares in the bronze medal game against Dam City Rollers, but the team forfeited the match and the Nightmares played against a mash up against whoever was around to play.

Coach Chris Thomas (Skimo) said he was impressed with how the Nightmares played so early in the season, and even saw improvement.

“Our team played very well,” said Thomas. “I was quite impressed… Everyone’s been off skates for four months, and we got back on skates and played very strong games for all of them.”

He added that the team also improved on their offensive play compared to last year.

With five players on the track at once, each team tries to enable their jammer to circle as many laps as they can, with one point for every lap the jammer makes.

A typical strategy, Thomas said, is for teams to have four players build a wall to block the opposing jammer.

But the Nightmares try to have three people blocking, and the other player skating offensively to help their own jammer score as many points as she can.

“The fourth player helps our jammer,” said Thomas. “[They] take some people out, knock them out of the track or push them out of the way, so that our jammer never has to fight against four people at once.” They executed it well, he indicated.

Thomas added that the team was hailed by others at the tourament for their fitness. They practice three times a week October to July, a longer season than many other teams and some players do other exercise outside of the team, Thomas said.

The Nightmares rank 53rd in Canada out of 398 teams listed on the stats from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The Chilliwack tournament didn’t increase their rank because the games were half-length.

Their next tournament isn’t until February.

The team has two new players this year after the recruitment “fresh meat” program last month. They practice at the old Thornhill Junior school gym, now the Northwest Trades and Employment Centre, NTEC.

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